The Town of Griswold: Berkley Street Series Book 3
The Town of Griswold: Berkley Street Series Book 3
The Town of Griswold: Berkley Street Series Book 3

The Town of Griswold: Berkley Street Series Book 3

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Unseen predator, deadly trails, welcome to Griswold.

Taking a much-needed break, ghost hunter, Shane Ryan, spends a day exploring an old New England town. What starts as a hike, becomes a deadly game of cat and mouse with a malevolent ghost who preys upon unsuspecting visitors. Shane has seen his share of bad spirits, but nothing could have prepared him for the evil predator dogging his trail.

Abel Latham is the scourge of Griswold, a deathly quiet town populated by the undead. Abel stalks the hapless victims who stumble onto his unholy ground before torturing them to death. The police rarely notice who's missing until two brothers disappear and the only clues are the boys' abandoned trucks and blood. Lots of blood.

Though shaken by the gruesome details of Abel's depraved life and dreadful crimes, Shane knows his new job is to end Latham's reign of terror and his vengeance for blood. As Shane hunts his ghostly mark, he prays 
he won't be the next grisly artifact found in Griswold Forest!

225 pages


Chapter 1: Looking for a Place to Shine

John and Jimmy Quill drove along Route 111. They had ‘Irish-ed’ up their coffee with a good dose of bad whiskey, and they were feeling fine as the sun rose. John steered with one hand, held his travel mug with the other, and kept watch on his side of the road. Jimmy, younger by two years, examined everything which passed by on the passenger side.

“John,” Jimmy said, breaking the silence.

“What’s up?”

“On the right, about two hundred feet, slow down,” Jimmy said, rolling down his window to get a better look.

John pulled off onto the shoulder, came to a stop. A narrow road, the pavement cracked and in desperate need of repair, turned off and into the shadows. “What’s this?”

“Don’t know,” Jimmy answered.

John watched as his brother pulled out his phone, punched in their position, and waited to see what results showed up. With a flick of his wrist, John put on the hazard lights and kept an eye on the mirrors, making sure no cops showed up to ask what he and Jimmy were up to.

After several minutes, when John was finally feeling a buzz from the whiskey, Jimmy said, “Here it is, bro. Place called Griswold. Used to be a lumber town. Shut down sometime in the thirties.”

“What’s there?” John asked, peering down the tree-lined road which led into darkness.

“Couple of buildings, maybe. Cellar holes. An old church,” Jimmy replied. Holding the phone out, he said, “Here, take a look.”

John took it and looked at the crisp, black-and-white image on the screen. A clapboard church, a good-sized building, was the dominant feature in a town.

“That church,” John said, grinning at his brother, “that church looks perfect.”

Jimmy nodded, smiling. “Yeah, it sure as hell does.”

John took his foot off the brake, made sure no one was coming up on them and pulled wide into the street before he cut hard to the right.

The street leading into Griswold was a mess. Every few feet John’s old, restored Dodge pickup bounced along. John winced with every bump and thud.

Damn, he thought, I sure as hell better not break a damned spring.

Tree limbs slapped at the sides and the windows, but John continued to push on. The world consisted of nothing more than broken asphalt and the crowded road.

Then the forest opened up around them, and the town of Griswold appeared. Two buildings stood tall: the church, and a long but low structure with a faded sign that proclaimed it to be the Griswold Country Store. The remains of a few other buildings stood on either side of the narrow street, and empty plots stood close by. Hints of other roads branched off through the forest, which had encroached on the town. Young trees, no more than twenty or thirty years old by their size, were along both sides near the back.

“We could do it here,” Jimmy said, looking around.

John nodded his agreement. “For a while at least. Eventually, they’ll figure it out.”

“Yeah,” Jimmy said, sighing. “They always do. But it might take a little longer here.”

“Will you be able to get the Chinaski brothers to help?” John asked. “They’ve got access to the college’s trucks, right?”

“Yeah,” Jimmy said. “Both of them still owe me for the bet they lost on the last Red Sox game. I’ll tell them I’ll get rid of the bet and the interest.”

“Sounds good,” John said. “We’ll have to come back and check it out before we set up, though. Make sure nobody’s squatting here.”

Jimmy nodded his agreement as John started to turn the truck around. It took a few tries in the tight confines of the overgrown street, but he managed. As he pointed the truck back the way they had come, he looked in the rearview and almost hit the brakes.

For a second John thought he had seen a young woman by the church.

Probably a deer, he told himself, shaking his head. John pushed the thought out of his mind and guided the truck back towards Route 111.

Just a deer. 

Chapter 2: At Berkley Street

The doorbell rang, and Shane stepped out into the hallway. He looked around and said, “I’m serious. Best behavior.” When no response was forthcoming, he walked to the main door and opened it.

Courtney DeSantis stood on the front step. She was stunning in a pair of jeans and a light gray sweatshirt, well-traveled hiking boots on her feet and a pack slung over her right shoulder. She brushed a strand of dark purple, almost black hair out of her eyes and smiled at Shane.

Shane grinned back at her, stepping aside and saying, “Come on in.”

She did so, eyes darting from left to right. “Wow. This is a big place.”

Shane nodded as he closed the door. “You like it?”

“I do,” Courtney said, turning around and kissing him swiftly on the cheek. “I like you, too.”

Shane felt his face heat up and thought, What the hell, it’s like I’m fourteen all over again.

She saw his expression and laughed. “You’re too damned cute, Shane.”

Shane chuckled. “I’ve been called a lot of things, doll, but never cute.”

“Good,” she said happily. Courtney shivered slightly and said, “Are there a lot of ghosts here?”

“A few,” Shane said.

“Want to give me the tour later on, once we get back?” she asked.

“I’d love to,” Shane said. “You sure you’re okay with that?”

She raised an eyebrow. “After Squirrel Island? Yeah, I’m okay with your house.”

“Good,” Shane said.

“You need to pack or anything?” Courtney asked.

“No,” Shane said, shaking his head. He gestured to the corner by the main door. His old backpack was on the floor, filled with the few items necessary for a day trip up into the North Country. “Already took care of the packing this morning.”

“Nice,” she said, smiling. “So, want to know where we’re headed?”

“Yes,” Shane said, grinning. “I thought it might be nice to know.”

She punched him playfully in the arm. “Place called Griswold. Ever heard of it?”

“No,” Shane said, grabbing his backpack. “Small town?”

“Small and unoccupied,” Courtney said. “It’s a New England ghost town.”

“Sounds good,” he said. “I don’t think I’ve ever been to a ghost town before.”

“Then it’s an adventure,” she said, winking. “So, ready to go?”

“Yup,” Shane said, nodding.

“Great!” she yelled, stepping forward and kissing him again. “Let’s go!”

Shane grinned foolishly, shook his head, and opened the door.

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